The Best $20 I Spent this Month

I think we can all agree that $20 doesn't go very far. I'm especially reminded of this when grocery shopping. Remember the opening sequence of the "Mary Tyler Moore Show" when character Mary Richards picks up a package in the supermarket, glances at the price, rolls her eyes, and pitches it in the cart? That's me. Times 100. It's not all walking around the lake and tossing your beret in the air, is it, Mary?

Nevertheless, $20 can still bring some loveliness or convenience or fun or even do some good. This month, the best $20 I spent was on some gorgeous orchids from Home Depot.

white orchids for sale

Someone I follow on Instagram posted that she picked up half a dozen orchids for $10 each at our local HD.  Instantly, I knew what my lunch plans were: protein bar and 10-minute drive to Home Depot. Unfortunately, my neighborhood HD had already been cleaned out, so I drove another 15 minutes to another Home Depot, where the orchids had yet to be discovered. The bad news is they were all potted in pinkish-mauvish ceramic containers. Ugh. I began mentally taking inventory of what I had on hand to re-pot them in.

As I did that, I sorted out the best of the lot. And then, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted more orchids, also priced at $10, in clay pots.

orchids for sale

The pots were small, six-inch pots, but the orchids looked healthy. And ten dollars. So I began choosing the ones I wanted, when I glanced behind me to find another rack of orchids, also priced at $9.99 in 10-inch clay pots.

orchids in dining room

At this point, I seriously thought about buying 10 because these orchids were crazy big and healthy with three or four stems each and loads of buds. But, then, I thought about grocery shopping and tuition, and I decided to stick with only two.

When I got home, I placed them both in the dining room. (I have now added photo-bombing to Charlie's list of unique talents.)

orchid on table

Twenty-one days later, and they look even better than when I brought them home! Orchids like bright light and not much water. In fact, I water my orchids on Wednesdays. They each get four ice cubes. That's it.

I hope we'll enjoy them for months to come. I first became an orchid fan when I read Susan Orlean's book, The Orchid Thief. It's the true and fascinating story of one of the most obsessive and charismatic orchid collectors and dealers in the world. Published in 1998, the book is still widely available in lots of formats. I'm slightly acquainted with someone who spends $700 a month on orchids for her house. People are passionate about orchids, I guess.

What's the best $20 you spent this month? I'd love to hear!


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